The Scoop: Online dating platforms have evolved as the norms surrounding appearance, sexuality, ethnicity, and gender identification have changed. XOXO is an innovative dating app that focuses less on profile pictures and more on helping singles connect on a meaningful level. Users start by taking a quiz to better understand and express their personalities. Then, they can enjoy online chat rooms and games designed to get them involved and have fun while making exciting new connections.

For anyone paying attention, it’s clear that Generation Z is dramatically different from previous generations in terms of sexuality, gender identification, and even background.

A 2021 survey found that 48% of Generation Z respondents said they were not only attracted to members of the opposite sex. That compares to 16% of Baby Boomers and even 24% of Generation X respondents who said they felt the same way. More young people are inclined think beyond traditional heteronormative understanding of affection when pursuing romantic relationships.

That may also represent a significant shift in how younger people approach dating. They may be less interested in a superficially attractive profile picture or the traditional filtering methods of most apps. Instead, they may want to find other singles based on their unique personality traits.

Those singles can find what they’re looking for on the innovative dating app XOXO.

Screenshot from XOXO website
XOXO allows singles to connect without the superficiality and pressures of other apps.

“XOXO is an inclusive, gamified dating app created by a group of people eager to think one step ahead and imagine the future of dating,” said a spokesperson for the XOXO app. “It’s for open-minded people and meant as a safe space for all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, and appearances.”

XOXO launched recently, and the app’s innovative platform is quickly growing into a place for people of all identities to come together to connect and find someone they love.

Aiming to End Dating Fatigue Through Innovations

The team said the app was designed to move away from the filtering features that many other dating apps use to make matches. Filters for gender, age, sexuality, and body type don’t always apply when singles are open-minded enough to find connections on a deeper level.

“As part of its mission, XOXO wants to relieve the pain of contemporary solitude, so often reflected in, and reinforced by, dating fatigue. We have reinvented dating tech for the new generation,” the XOXO team said. “We believe it’s the thing to do at the time of global shifts in diversity and social understanding of gender, sexuality, and body image.”

The team launched the app in July 2021 for both iOS and Android devices. It already has more than 100,000 downloads and has amassed 35,000 active users.

Screenshots from the XOXO app
The intuitive XOXO app helps users find potential partners — and start chatting — quickly.

The first step to sign up for XOXO is to complete the app’s unique onboarding quiz. The quiz is playful and somewhat cheeky, but it does focus on consistently clarifying the user’s personality. That’s a far cry from pigeon-holing someone based on their gender or narrow definitions of sexuality.

The quiz also helps people better understand themselves in addition to helping create a placement within the platform. It allows users to look deeper within themselves to understand who they are — in their mind and heart. Singles can use that information to highlight their differences and similarities to other users they might find attractive.

The idea is to foster acceptance and real connections, rather than swiping left or right in a way that often objectifies other people. The focus on looks can also make it more challenging to encourage friendships and romantic relationships.

Totems Serve as Avatars Within the App’s Games

Once the app has helped users better understand their personalities and desires, it assigns what the team calls a totem for each user. These cute avatars present a conceptual portrait for others to see, so users would judge each other on physical appearance only. 

Photo from XOXO
XOXO eliminates rejections and accepts daters of all genders, sexual orientations, and preferences.

Users also need to care for their totems. Within the XOXO game, they are living virtual companions whose health is fueled by the user’s activity on the app. The last thing anyone on XOXO wants is for their totem to wither away.

One way to keep the totem alive and well is to participate in the totem-based group chats organized randomly based on the personalities of each user. Singles can connect with others who have similar temperaments and interests through these fun group chats. Users then match with others on personality and character rather than just looks — and that’s by design.

The XOXO game experience continues with tasks, experience points (XP), and badges. The app tracks the tasks users complete, which earns them XP gains and badges along the way. These tasks allow people to get to know themselves better and familiarize themselves with the community and the environment around them.

“This rich ecosystem creates a layer of playfulness and mysticism for a gently gamified dating experience,” the XOXO team said.

Paramount to the game experience is a feeling of safety. The terms of use for the app make it clear that it will not tolerate anything that promotes racism, bigotry, hatred, or threats of any kind.

XOXO Is Inclusive for All With No Reject Button

XOXO is designed to be inclusive for all singles, unlike many popular dating apps on the market. That makes it possible for users to connect with people they may not otherwise find on mainstream dating platforms.

For example, no filters limit the types of people with whom users match. That means the feed isn’t filtered by gender, sexuality, age, or body type. The team said that could sometimes make for pleasant surprises.

XOXO profile setup
XOXO lets the user’s personality shine in an original dating profile.

“Everyone could meet more people we think they might like,” the spokesperson said. “And, no, there are no gender-age-sexuality boxes in the profile, either.”

Still, no one wants to connect with someone who doesn’t have the same maturity level they do. So, the app includes a ballpark figure of a person’s mental age. That means more singles can connect with someone based on their unique traits, rather than a number (age) that may not be the best indicator of maturity.

XOXO aims to eliminate the swipe left culture of simply rejecting someone based on a photo or a filter. In fact, the app has no reject button at all.

“There is no traditional button for rejecting people, as we could all do with a little bit less explicit negativity in our lives,” the team told us.

Instead, the safe environment can be a fun way for users to meet others who share their points of view and connect on a deeper basis for friendship, dating, and romance — all while having fun.

As the XOXO team explained, “It’s a venue where identities are not used as a label to judge people, and the experience of getting to know others is gamified.”

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